Climate Change and Brownfield Redevelopment Remain Focuses of Carney Administration

January 14, 2019
Stephen D. Daly, Esq.
MGKF Special Alert - Delaware Forecast 2019

As Governor Carney enters the third year of his administration, his agenda will likely continue to touch upon issues relating to energy and the environment in Delaware.  Climate change and brownfield redevelopment remain two important areas of focus for his administration:

Climate Change

  • Governor Carney has identified climate change as a threat to Delaware's future because of the state's status as the country's lowest-lying state.  While the federal government has assumed a more limited role in curtailing climate change, Delaware continues to engage in initiatives to reduce carbon emissions and mitigate the effects of climate change.  In 2017, Delaware joined the U.S. Climate Alliance, a coalition of states committed to upholding the Paris Agreement, in order to uphold the goals of the Paris Agreement to combat climate change. 
  • To uphold the goals of the Paris Agreement, the state continues to participate in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, a nine-state program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from power plants, and also invests in and evaluates renewable energy sources.  In June 2018, the Offshore Wind Power Working Group, a task force established by Governor Carney, submitted its final report to Governor Carney with an evaluation of Delaware's potential options for investing in an off-shore wind project.  It remains to be seen whether the Governor will act on the Working Group's analysis and recommendations. 

  • Delaware also continues to invest in coastal resilience measures to mitigate the effects of climate change.  DNREC's Shoreline and Waterway Management Section has been active in beach replenishment work along the state's coast line. 

Brownfield Redevelopment

  • The 2017 amendments to the Coastal Zone Act were largely directed at promoting redevelopment of brownfield sites located within Delaware's Coastal Zone.  With the regulations addressing the Coastal Zone Act amendments due this year, the Carney administration is hoping the state's new Coastal Zone Act conversion permits will provide a viable avenue for redevelopment of the 14 heavy industry sites located within the Coastal Zone.

  • Brownfield sites that the Carney administration has previously identified as candidates for redevelopment include the former Chemours site at Edgemoor, the former steel plant in Claymont, the General Motors auto plant in Newport, and the Seaford nylon plant.  It is likely that the Carney Administration will continue to encourage redevelopment of these and other sites in the state in 2019.